Join Date: Dec 2009
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Ensigns are Great boats
Ensigns can be found in every state of (dis)repair, ranging in price from $500 (a total fixer-upper) to $18,000 for a race ready, or very seaworthy, boat. I race competitively, and have about $25,000 in mine. Over 40 active fleets are located up and down the eastern and gulf coasts, but the highest population is in New England. However, the Houston Yacht Club has 35 boats in its harbor and Denver Colorado also has a populous fleet. The class website is ensignclass dot com where numerous boats are listed for sale.
It is a great daysailor, with room for 8 people in the cockpit, though it is raced with a crew of four. It draws three feet and is great for shallow bays and steep chop. It has very classic lines, and was one of the first designs inducted into the Classic Boat Hall of Fame. The National Championship attracts up to 40 boats every year. A very nice sailing boat, it tacks through 75 degrees in a breeze and 85 to 90 in light winds.
A full complement of sails should include a main, a blade (great for day sailing), a #2 genoa (18 - 25 knots of wind), a #1 genoa (0 - 18 knots of wind), and a spinnaker.
Potential problem areas are the chain plates (water leakage), the deck (water leakage through hardware mounting holes, if not done properly), the bulkhead, and the sole (the keel stepped mast rests on the sole inside the cabin, and the rig will not hold tension if this is soft). If the sole is soft, a permanent and lasting repair can be achieved by replacing it with a 1" solid fiberglass plate. The combing boards add much rigidity to the boat and should be maintained or replaced when they are in bad condition. Properly maintained, they will last a very long time. There are fiberglass floorboard and seats available for a low maintenance boat and the minimum weight for the boat is 2900 lbs.
After repairing any soft spots in the deck, all hardware should be mounted by drilling oversized holes, filling each hole with epoxy to seal against water access to the balsa core, and then re-drilling properly sized holes for the mounting hardware.
Hope this helps...